THE Chairman of a local anglers club has criticised public bodies over their inaction which has allowed a calf to rot in the River Irwell.

A calf has been resting in a section of the River Irwell in Bury close to Chamberhall Business Park.

The area is close to a car park and public right of way.

However, despite chairman of Little Britain Anglers Club, Eric Owen, contacting the council and the Environment Agency, he has been left "playing piggy-in-the-middle" as he struggled to ascertain who has responsibility for the remains.

He said: "The calf is very easy to see and it is beyond a joke.

"It is almost like I am office staff going back and forth between people, doing their jobs for them and playing piggy-in-the-middle.

"It is being left to rot and if left it will end up being washed away to Salford Quays or somewhere."

Eric has called and made online contact to both bodies but was still left confused over what was going to be done.

Bury Council confirmed that while the responsibility lay with the the EA, the council had made arrangements to move it.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency is responsible for removing blockages from rivers or watercourses if they are causing a significant risk of flooding or pollution.

"In this instance, there is no flood or pollution risk and we are liaising with the local authority to contact the land owner to remove the dead calf.”

The EA added that when there is no risk to flooding or pollution it would be the responsibility of the landowner or animal owner to remove the dead calf in liaison with the Animal Health Service and Local Authority.

Eric added: "The river is always getting a bad press and this carcass, which stinks and has maggots, is not helping its image.

"You would think that with coronavirus and the push for health and safety, it would have been cleared sooner."